• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"All the other Ways of Knowing are controlled by language" What does this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language?

Extracts from this document...


Banu Thuraisingam "All the other Ways of Knowing are controlled by language" What does this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language? "All the other ways of knowing are controlled by Language." This quote implies that perception, emotion and reasoning are all dependent on language. Two men by the names of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf undoubtedly believed so. Their hypothesis essentially states that what we think is determined by our language. However I believe that all the four ways of knowing are dependent on each other. Certainly language does influence us but it does not restrict perception, emotion and reason. A man named Wilhelm von Humboldt, who formulated the 'Weltanschauung' hypothesis, viewed thought as being impossible without language, language as a completely determining thought, which is a more extreme version of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis but has the same stand point. One can now question how, if there was no thought before language, did language arise in the first place? This leads us to contemplate if what these men are saying is indeed reasonable. It can be suggested that language affects and possibly controls perception, as it does in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. ...read more.


Researchers have discovered that the early forms of language had even fewer words for different colors. However, just because they didn't have a word for red it does not mean that they did not see red. When researches taught these people the words for the different colors they then had it labeled. Language is merely a label, a expression of what we have perceived. I personally believe that no matter which language you speak or which cultural norms you are used to, everyone is capable of intellectual thought and perception. One may state that emotion is dependent on language. For example, the use of emotive language not only in literature but in everyday speech, conveys a person's emotion towards something. One may say "the fetus can be terminated up to 23 weeks" whereas another may say "They allow the baby to be murdered as late as 23 weeks." Essentially both mean the same thing but the difference lies in the emotional message it conveys. An emotion is triggered by a stimulus; if that stimulus is verbal (such as emotive language) then the emotion is controlled by language. Therefore we can deduce that language provokes an emotional response and it is tool to depict emotion. ...read more.


The problem with inductive logic is that the initial surmise must be correct, and they are controlled by language. Similarly the problem with deductive logic is that the expression and indeed possibly even the perception of them are controlled by language. Inductive reasoning may be argued as not being influenced by language, as it is based on making observations. However, in order to make observations, then process them to form a conclusion, one must think- and thinking is done in the form of a language. Again referring back to the Sapir-Whorf theory which states that language is deterministic and what we think is restricted by our language. Conversely, another theory called the Mentalese Theory suggest that thoughts and language are two separate entities and that just because one isn't able to express something through language; it doesn't necessarily indicate that one isn't actually feeling or experiencing it. For example chimpanzees are not affected by language however research has proven that not only can they identify shapes and color but they can organize them into groups accordingly. This provides evidence to say that everyone is capable of intellectual thought process and reasoning without language. Ultimately I disagree with the quote "all the way of knowing are controlled by language." It does play a significant part in expressing emotion, perception and reasoning however it does not restrict them. The lack of language does not prevent us from thinking and therefore knowing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Color Purple

    3 star(s)

    In this piece, Nettie tells us of the chief, and how he has many wives, they all work really hard for him, and still think it an honour to be married to him. This is part of the Olinka's beliefs, and Nettie clearly disagrees with this thought, when she responds

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    However I'm more interested in finding and applying the real, core message, the 'system', that Christ set. At the end of the day all religions and beliefs boil down to God-conciousness, whatever God is (Light, Essence, Source...) and thinking and doing all good and compassionate things for all beings and things.

  1. "All of the other Ways of Knowing are controlled by language." What does this ...

    One of the various "Ways of Knowing", according to The TOK Diagram3, is emotion. Everyday we feel emotions, like when somebody compliments us, we say "thank you", when we get into a heated argument we get angry. So how do people know when we are feeling a particular emotion, and how do we let others know?

  2. With the use of specific examples, discuss the ways and means in which writers ...

    Such tactics has never failed me as it would build up her desire. However, it was ironic that I could not use such tactics as I am really serious when I refused to sleep with her. To make matter worse is the fact that she is only desirable to me when she rejects me.

  1. How do Politicians gain support through language? AQA English coursework

    This in turn creates a "them and us" stance where they see the opposing parties as the enemy and connotes to the audience that labour is on the public's side. Howard and Kennedy also do this, for example the simple sentence, "They put them up."

  2. Knowledge that is difficult to describe in words. Does this mean that other Ways ...

    Because of the ability to relate, Eia Uus, for instance, has successfully transmitted her experiences of The Regents School in her book Kuu K´┐Żlm Kuma1 because I study at the same school. Experience is the base of this understanding even though books use language.

  1. In what ways might language be used as an instrument of oppression?

    immediately put to an ignominious death; and out of their goods or lands, the innocent person is quadruply recompensed for the loss of their time, for the danger they underwent, for the hardship of their imprisonment, and for all the charges they hath been at in making their defence.

  2. Romeo and Juliet

    We find Benvolio intervening when he says: "Part, falls! Put up your swords -you know not what to do." (Act 1, scene 1 lines 56 and 57.) No reason is given of how the feud started but we know that it has been going on for some time and has affected the lives of the citizens of Verona.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work